NORFOLK, Va. - Running on a treadmill at the gym...while eating a donut between drags of a cigarette. Saying prayers in church...while asking God to have your boss be stricken with an incurable disease.
Both of these are examples of how the same setting can feature both the incredibly good and incredibly bad. That's the situation for the Old Dominion football team this Saturday.
The Monarchs, winless on the season and off to their worst start in school history, host the most-monumental game in school history as Virginia Tech plays in Norfolk.
"This is clearly a historic game and something that I am very proud and excited to be a part of," Old Dominion head football coach Bobby Wilder said. "I never could’ve imagined when I was hired here that we would be hosting Virginia Tech, one of the top programs in the country and has consistently been a good program and the fact that this is the first of a number of times they will come to Old Dominion is exciting for all of us. There is a lot of excitement around our university in the area to play this game."
While these are historic times in Norfolk, the Hokies' trip to Foreman Field could not come at a worse time.
The Monarchs' defense ranks 119th of out 130 team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and ODU has been outscored 108-55 in its three losses. Virginia Tech, 2-and-0 on the season, is ranked No. 13 in this week's AP Top 25 poll.
"What I’m trying to do right now is really focus on getting them to block out the noise that is around them and to focus on us and what we need to do to get better as a team," Wilder said of his team's skid. "Right now what we’ve got to do is embrace this grind that we’re in, this is a grind right now, it’s not easy to show up everyday and come in and face the fact that you are not where you want to be. Tough times call for tough people, you’ve heard me say it a number of times and I’ve always believed that adversity defines your character and you find out more about yourself as a person when you’re going through difficult times than when everything is going well for you; that’s the part right now that I’m really focused on with everybody in the organization."
The Monarchs host Virginia Tech Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Foreman Field.